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Showing posts from September, 2009

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year

THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN SERVICE 2009
PSALM 115
We gather today to honour those who fought in the Battle of Britain, and to give thanks for what was achieved. We do not honour victory in itself: victory writes the history books and is quite capable of blowing its own trumpet; but we do honour the love, courage, service and the self-sacrifice of those who made victory possible, and we celebrate the freedom and peace that victory won for us.
At times the world and life can seem very dark. 70 years ago, almost to the day, it must have seemed incredibly dark.
It was Christmas 1939 that King George VI echoed words of Minnie Louise Haskins, which many of us will know:
“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!’ So I went forth and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the…

Asking Jesus to help us to see

Mark 8:22-26

This is the story of a man who was blind who was healed. It is a unique story, because it is the only story where Jesus does not heal the person in one go. There are two stages to the healing. After the first time the man looks up, sees people, but they look like trees. After the second time, he opens his eyes and he sees everything clearly.
So what is going on here?
Obviously, we are being told that Jesus is the Messiah, the one sent by God to be King in his world. He does the things of the Messiah. He is the one who fulfils Isaiah 35:5, ‘Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped’. In Mark 7:31-37 he has just healed a deaf person in very similar circumstances.
And we are also being told that Jesus heals. The friends bring someone who is blind to him, and Jesus heals him.
That is what we do when we pray: bring someone to Jesus. And although he does not always heal as we wish, he does heal.
[One of the very interesting things in Mark’s go…

Memories

A talk given at a service to mark the handover of the stewardship of the Regimental chapel from the Suffolk Regiment to the Royal Anglians, 1st September 2009
Thank you Brigadier Calder for your words; And a big thank you to the members of the Suffolk Regiment for the way that you have helped and supported us to maintain this chapel (especially in the last few months as we have reroofed the building. And I look forward to continue working with you and now with the Royal Anglians.
We have just said, ‘We will remember them’
And we say that because we want to say: you mattered and you still matter; what you did mattered; the sacrifice you made mattered.
And yet it is hard to remember. There are some memories we would love to remember, and we just can’t get them. There are some memories that we would far rather forget. (Some of us will have watched Wuthering Heights last night: Heathcliffe could not forget Cathy, and as a result he ended up destroying other people and himself) There are times…